Oil Prices and SXSW—5 Things To Know for the Day Ahead

Hello friends and Fortune readers.

Wall Street stock futures are sharply higher Friday after China’s currency hit its highest level this year, helping to dispel fears about its economic slowdown. Traders are also looking on the ECB’s latest stimulus measures more charitably after a good night’s sleep. U.S. crude oil futures, meanwhile, are at a four-month high of $38.95 a barrel after an upbeat report from the the International Energy Agency (more below).

Today’s must-read story is from Fortune‘s Shawn Tully, who looked at various proxy filings from the casino empire once run by current GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump. During the 13 years Trump spent as chairman, the company lost a total of $1.1 billion and declared bankruptcy twice—all while Trump essentially paid himself roughly $82 million and also had the company pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy Trump Ice bottled water for their mini-bars.

Here’s what else you need to know today.

1. Oil prices ‘may have bottomed’, IEA says

Oil prices might have bottomed as output in the United States and other non-OPEC producers is beginning to fall quickly and an increase in supply from Iran has been less than dramatic, the International Energy Agency said on Friday. The IEA, which coordinates energy policies of industrialized nations, said it now believed non-OPEC output would fall by 750,000 barrels a day in 2016 compared to its previous estimate of 600,000 b/d.

2. South by Southwest 2016

The annual film, music, and interactive media festival kicks off in Austin, Tx. today, with a week full of multi-industry presentations, panels, screenings, and concerts on tap. South by Southwest attendees will see both President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama deliver keynote addresses, with the president’s speech set to open the tech-focused leg of the event today. Fortune broke down some of the highlights of this year’s festival, including a variety of virtual reality-focused panels and the premiere screening of Netflix’s (NFLX) Pee-Wee Herman film reboot, while corporate sponsors such as McDonald’s (MCD) and Samsung will also be on hand with big events.

3. Import prices

The Labor Department is expected to report that import prices fell 0.6% in February, after dipping 1.1% the previous month, due to the strong U.S. dollar and weak global demand. The report is also likely to show that export prices fell 0.5% last month after a drop of 0.8% in January.

4. Mexico’s industrial output

New data released today is expected to show that Mexico’s industrial production increased by 0.15% in January after falling in each of the previous three months. A recent rebound in global oil prices likely helped bolster the country’s industrial output, which had been hurt in recent months by low oil prices and declines in the mining and construction sectors.

5. NCAA conference tournaments

With college basketball’s regular season schedule finished, men’s basketball teams compete against their conference rivals today and through the weekend for their final shot at improving their standing with the NCAA Tournament selection committee. The pre-March Madness excitement excitement heats up this weekend with Selection Sunday looming, as teams on the bubble look to gain entry to the big tournament’s field of 64 teams while other teams look to secure a high seed. The NCAA Tournament is a major source of advertising revenue for television, generating more than $1 billion per year in ad sales.


—Reuters contributed to this post.

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